Sleep Like a Champion

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7 Marathon Training Tips on a Hectic Schedule

The best of us have a busy schedule. The worst of us have a hectic schedule. So when it comes to training and working out, it can seem impossible to find the time to fit it in. I mean… among work obligations, family obligations, and other obligations, it’s almost unmanageable to add to the list. Fair enough; that’s why I’m going to share with you some tips on how you can fit training into your already-action-pack-schedule.

Make a real, infallible schedule

Know exactly what you’re doing at all times. Work from 9-5 Monday through Friday? Spending Sunday with your family? Write all this down, onto a calendar of some sort – or just a weekly planner. See exactly where you find yourself wasting time. Maybe you watch a specific TV show at a certain time. And then you find yourself lost lethargically in the abyss of television. Instead, control yourself. After your “must-watch” program, see if you have time to train afterwards. Seriously – make a schedule, and stick with it. It makes life a whole lot easier.

Tell everyone your schedule

Tell your spouse, your children, your uncle, your aunt, your siblings… even your dog. Tell everyone exactly when to NOT disturb you. When to NOT make plans to screw up your schedule. Have them understand that maybe you can miss a couple of episodes of your favorite program, but not your training time. That’s a no-go zone. And, not only that, but make them hold you to it. Don’t let them allow you to “just watch another episode.” Because that’ll turn into a never-ending cycle. If you lack self-control, the thing you need is someone forcing you to train when you can’t be bothered. And, maybe you’ll have some people to work out with because of this.

Quality trumps quantity

It never fails to amaze me how often people think that the more they run, the better off they’ll be. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, it’ll leave them prone to injury with nothing but an achy body in the morning. Instead, follow a routine that is destined for success. Don’t wing it. To be successful in marathon running, you need to set off in the right direction with your training. Or else you’ll just be wasting your time – no amount of work will turn you into a pro-marathoner if you don’t have a path to follow. Having a quality training session will leave you with more time to do other things. Even if the training is just 30 minutes – sometimes that can be better than an hour session.

Be realistic

After a full day of work, sometimes it’s not practical to workout. Depending on where you work, and what you do, you might’ve had enough for the day once you get home, which is fine. The workout should fit your lifestyle without overworking. You could get some excellent advice from a PT here. Have them assist you and your schedule. If you’re not realistic in your schedule, you’ll do nothing but kill your motivation once you realize you “put too much on your plate,” so to speak.

Run to and from work

If you can, use work as a way to train; run there and back. If you can’t rock up to work sweaty and bothered, just run home from work. Have someone take you to work in the morning if possible, so you won’t have to use your car. Or use public transport if you’re in the city. You may need to take a change of clothes to do this, but I can assure you it’s the most practical way to achieve what you want, whilst fulfilling those dreaded obligations we all have.

Start a workout group

If you want to life weights or run, having a group of people with similar goals will help with motivation. They’ll be there to assist with your goals, and make sure you don’t lag behind because of laziness. It only takes one person to get the group in a consistent schedule, whilst staying motivated, if the rest of the group aren’t as determined. So, if you’re someone who lacks discipline and motivation, doing this’ll force you to run when you’re supposed to run. Nobody wants to be the person who gets left behind, especially within a group of people. How embarrassing!

Always do something

It’s often tempting to use “free time” to do nothing and just relax. The “extra” spaces between obligations where nothing productive is being done. But I like to think differently. I take advantage of those times, because often they’re the only times I can run and make use of myself. Even if it’s just running around the block. Using those “spare” gaps in the schedule can be the difference between a solid, effective week of exercise, and a mediocre, dismal week of procrastination.

Final Words

Although we’re all always busy, there’s always a way you can be training for a marathon. Even if it means being a little creative and using the disadvantages to your advantage. To avoid training and coming up with excuses is just being a cop out. Don’t be one of these people.

About Curt:

Curt Davies is a marathon enthusiast, who has developed as a runner through experience and persistence. Not only is he a published writer on the topic, but as the proud owner of www.marathondriven.com he gives an incredible amount of high quality, intriguing information at the click
of a button. And, you can even get his free report which will help you find the mental edge you need to run your marathon straight from his website.

Freezing Your Nuts Off: Marathon Training

Firstly: this is not for males only – excuse the title.

Winter sucks. It’s cold, windy, and depending where you live, can leave you stranded in your home for days. As you read this, you could be in a sunny, tropical place. But you could also, one day, be in this predicament. And then what? You didn’t finish reading this article, so you won’t know what to do.

If it’s just a drizzle o’ rain, should you go for a run? What if you happened to be locked inside? How would you train for your marathons? Well, if you continue reading, you’ll learn just that.

1. Get a treadmill

The first, most prominent solution, for me, is to get a treadmill. Stuck inside? Problem solved. You can quit your whining and get running. But there’s a problem here. You’re stuck inside. Where will you put it? How will you stay on it long enough without getting bored. Yes, bored. Not
tired.

Chuck it in front of a television. Seriously. It doesn’t matter if your son is watching Spongebob, or your spouse is watching the Discovery Channel. Put it in a place you can be entertained. It’s far too easy to hop off once you’re bored. If you’re outside, you don’t have the luxury of being home when you’ve had enough. This is dangerous.

Watch something on television to keep you entertained. Tell your son to clean his room. Put your foot down, and do what you’ve gotta do. They won’t like it. You might be hated for the rest of the night for it. But they’ll get over it. I mean, it’s likely you won’t be able to hear the TV anyway, but it’s the illusion. It’s tricking your mind into being entertained. It’s necessary.

2. Prepare

You’ve probably noticed that I prepare a lot. I’m always ready for the worst. Nothing can stop me, and it should be the same for you.

Know what the weather is at all times. Check on your phone if you can fit in a run after dinner. If there’s a blizzard, then run inside. But that’s not enough. You need to know if there’s a blizzard coming. What if you go for a 5k run, and halfway through, the weather turns? You need to prepare, especially around winter. It’s not questionable.

If you’re unprepared for the weather, it’s your own fault. I can’t show sympathy for your lack of preparation. If you’re not prepared to deal with the weather at its worst, make sure you won’t be running outside when it’s at its worst.

Is the weather only ideal between 4 and 6am? Perfect time for a morning run.

3. Drink plenty of water

Hydration is essential. Even during winter. Don’t believe for a second anyone who says otherwise. Just because it’s so cold even the polar bears are wearing jackets, doesn’t, for a second, excuse you from drinking water.  Suck it up. Literally.

Even if you’re not thirsty. Even if you simply don’t want to drink. Drink. And drink a lot. Enough you couldn’t go 30 minutes without urinating. There are trees around. Probably not the best advice if you’re female, but you could try.

Before you go for your run, drink water. During your run, drink more water. When you get home, go to the toilet, and then drink some more. Your body’ll love it.

4. Dress for the occasion

You’re not running in tropical weather. And the chances are, it’s dark outside. Or, at least, dark enough that bright clothes can be the difference between life and death. And you’re not dressing for some 80’sdance party gone wrong. You’re dressing to run. Who cares how bad you
look? You’ve got better things to worry about. Such as your health, for example.

If you don’t dress for the occasion, you’re one step closer to either looking like a fool, or risking your life. Or both. As long as you don’t die looking like a fool. That’d be catastrophic.

5. Know when enough is enough

Conditions determine your body’s capabilities. It’s not rocket science. If it’s cold, wet, and windy, consider shortening your run. In fact, if those are the conditions, maybe it’s time to find a better time to run, or run inside. You don’t want to catch a cold!

If it’s just cold, then run until you need to stop. Have a plan to get home in case you can’t continue. Hypothermia is real, and you’re screwed if you can’t get home in freezing conditions. Especially if you decide to run at night in those conditions. Then help is going to be even more
difficult. I trust you have more common sense than that, though.

I can’t tell you when to stop. I mean, I could, but it’s ultimately your decision. Ring up a friend if you can’t run any longer. Now is time to use your friendship to your advantage. Get them to come pick you up. Or your partner. Anyone who’s willing, and won’t ask for cash.

6. Stay as dry as possible

Obvious, right? Wrong.

I mean, in theory, it’s easy. Not in practicality. It requires some creativity. Some thinking. And most importantly: the right equipment. The clothes you need to wear should cover your skin. Become a nun for the day. But dress tailored to running, of course. Get a (waterproof) jacket. Some running gloves. Thick socks. Suitable shoes. Just make sure you look like a runner with bright clothes on, not a criminal avoiding the police.

But you need to watch out. Don’t overdress. Some parts can get wet, because it’s inevitable. You’re running in rain. Unless you have an umbrella, be prepared to get damp somehow. The more clothes you have on, the more weight you carry. Especially when wet. Choose carefully, and most importantly, be practical. As long as your phone is either waterproof or covered thoroughly, everything else will be fine. You probably won’t die.

Conclusion

Winter happens once a year for several months, whether you like it or not. You can’t avoid it. Instead, you need to work with it. Working against it won’t do anyone any favors. Be prepared, stay hydrated, and the weather will be the least of your problems.

Author Bio

Curt Davies is a marathon enthusiast who found the mental edge you need to finish your first marathon. He’s compiled some of his best tips into a free download you can get at his website at www.marathondriven.com

Marathon Running: The New Counseling for Couples?

There comes a time when couples will experience tension in their relationship. Being with one person can pose new difficulties unheard of by those who may be single… but they do exist. For some, relationship counseling may be beneficial; for others, not so much. Fortunately, there is still hope for any relationship encountering friction – it’s just not something which is often proposed, but should be considered. In this article, I’m going to be discussing how running a marathon with your partner can be a far more effective, natural way to build a strong and everlasting relationship, whether it’s currently on the brink of failure, or maybe just content.

1. You’re in it together

When you run and train for a marathon with your partner, there is no “I” in the process. You go through the same routine (or slightly different) and can empathize with the pain which may (will) be endured. Of course, this is the one exemption of “good” pain. The process of running a marathon is exhausting, but the training involved is even more so.  Your
body will ache. Your head will hurt. It will be tough, particularly in the beginning, but think of it as a reflection of your relationship. The beginning is always the hardest part, but as you journey more together, it gradually becomes easier. At least, I hope that’s what’s happened – it will once you begin training and running marathons, that’s for sure. In essence, when you’re putting your body through such pain, you know you’re not alone, which is the main part.

2. Understanding the struggles

Running and training for a marathon allows each partner in the relationship to understand one another. There is no need to vindicate (justify) a purchase on an expensive pair of running shoes, kissing a sweaty face, or being exposed to such strange smells. Both endure the same process of becoming fit enough to run the marathon, and there are no reasons to feel alienated after a long, strenuous training session which may leave you in a state of dripping sweat, or a bit smelly.

3. Anger outlet

Say you’ve had a rough day: your boss is angry with you; your friends are all busy, and there’s nothing good to watch on TV. So what do you do? You probably go on your computer to escape from all the bills and other unpleasant realities you could be facing. Maybe you even take it out on your partner. However, that is evidently not a productive way of
escaping from life problems (not that there’s ever a productive way of doing so) and maybe you’d feel like you’re bettering your life if there was a purpose for your actions. This is why training for a marathon can be a good outlet for stress and anger you may have in you. You may even find that anger perishes, and becomes obsolete when you train and run
marathons. You may even find that you become a more positive person in general – with your partner by your side throughout the process.

4. The marathon itself is worth it

Once you’ve gone through the grueling months of training and getting fit enough to run a marathon, it’s time to actually face the marathon. Your whole journey has led to this moment with your partner, and it’s time to face the 26.2 miles square in the face. Depending on which marathon you’re running will not only indicate the number of people not only
running along with you, but also in the audience cheering you on. Let me just tell you: this experience is something you will never forget, even when you become old and your memory begins to fade. When you’re running with your partner from the start to finish, you can say “we did it” (I propose this won’t be the only thing to happen). Let me warn you: things could get emotional really quickly. The amount of times I’ve seen people in tears once they reach the finish line is overwhelming, and most definitely worth the experience. When you do something you love with the love of your life, the experience is even more incredible, and even more so with the crowd around, congratulating you in the process. Did I mention you’ll both get a medal for finishing?

5. Sharing travelling experiences

When you run marathons, it’s not just a one-off thing. It can be far more than that, and even become a long term routine, and may even become traditional. When you run marathons, they won’t all be situated in the same location. They will always be distributed all over the world, which can open up travelling opportunities. Whether it is in America,
Australia, or any other location, there is bound to be marathons available for you to run. Grab this opportunity with two hands, catch a flight to that location and get running! It will be worth it. Be sure to take some pictures, and even write about the journey. You’ll look back at these moments for the rest of your life, and be glad you did it.

Conclusion

Marathon running can be an excellent way to help build your relationship to a new level, and should be considered. Sometimes you may feel as though you’d have better luck running for president (or prime minister) than convincing your partner that running is a good idea, but with enough perseverance and commitment, your relationship is destined to
become enriched through the marathon running experiences.

 

Author Bio

Curt Davies is a marathon enthusiast and has built his own website located at www.marathondriven.com. It’s stacked with information and other goodies regarding marathon running and training for those over the age of 30. If you want to find out more about Curt and what he writes about, you can freely open the link mentioned earlier.

Training Like a Boss: Over 30s Marathoning

As your body begins to age, you may notice you aren’t as ‘able’ to train as much as you were when you were in your 20s (or younger). That’s not to say you should quit running at all (quite the opposite, actually), but slight adjustments to your training pattern should be considered, especially as some of the physical attributes to your body begin to hinder, such as your aerobic capacity, metabolism slows, and your body fat increases. These are a few of the different effects aging can have on your body, and is more evident with marathon runners. Not to worry: I’m going to help you see the light with your marathon running training, by providing you with some tips you can use to enhance your marathon running!

Take more rest days

At this stage, I’m not sure if you like the sound of this idea or not. Nevertheless, it’s something I feel important, particularly as you get older. Let’s face it: you’re not getting younger, and your body is becoming more and more fragile as the years pass. Consequently, it may be time for you to consider cutting back on the training days in total, and having extra rest to help your body recuperate for a better quality training session. Although it may sound counterproductive, you’re actually doing your body a disservice if you train too much without enough rest. This will help prevent any form of stress fracture, or other injury resultant of working your body too hard.

Warm up

Oftentimes, training can feel just as tiring as the marathon itself, which is why it’s important to warm up before training. As your muscle mass reduces as you enter the 30s and older, it’s crucial to treat your muscles with absolute delicacy and give them the treatment they deserve. Before and after you train, you need to stretch to protect the muscles and the elasticity (resulting in more injury-prone) which aren’t as guarded as they were when you were younger. Don’t worry – we all have to do it sooner or later as we age!

Don’t overwork yourself

Running marathons (or running in general) is a very delicate sport, and unless you treat it as so, you’re likely going to be prone to an injury, such as stress fractures and pulled muscles – which is exactly what you DON’T want to do before a marathon (or ever, for that matter). When you train and plan your training, don’t feel obliged to complete every aspect you plan. It’s good to set goals, but sometimes you have to take a look at your goals and think rationally about them. If you find yourself unable to complete a training session, don’t be disheartened. You could either just be having a bad day, or are simply not capable of training as much as you had anticipated. Don’t go out of your way and complete a training session simply because it’s what you wanted to achieve. Only you know your body, so it’s up to you to decide when you’ve had enough. There is no shame in not completing a training session: as long as you tried your hardest and put in a solid effort into the training. Don’t risk injury out of pride; it’s simply not worth it.

Variety is key

Training for a marathon does not necessarily mean spending your time at a gym lifting weights, on a treadmill or other typical training techniques for runners. In fact, it is highly recommended (particularly for those over 30) to diversify yourself with different training varieties. This includes aerobic running, cycling, and swimming, among many others you can try out. These types of trainings help expose your body to different circumstances which overall increase the durability and fitness level, which is important when running marathons.

Prepare for the worst

One of the things I like to do the most is, when the weather is atrocious and everyone else is inside in front of the fire place with a warm cup of hot chocolate, I like to exit my comfort zone and train in those conditions. Anyone over the age of 30 can find this to be incredibly helpful to the success of your marathon, as it prepares you for what could potentially happen when running the marathon. Unfortunately, marathons do not cater for the conditioning humans thrive on, which means it’s crucial to expose your body to these harsh conditions and get used to them… embrace them, even. Not only does it help you in preparation for these circumstances, but it will also add perception to how easy it is running in modest conditions, and therefore if the weather is nice when it comes to marathon day, your experience will be far more enjoyable and tranquil which should result in a better time, hopefully.

Conclusion

If you’re someone over the age of 30 who is training for a marathon, I would highly recommend you at least consider what I have said, and hopefully execute the information practically. Not only will your body thank you for it, but I can almost guarantee you will do far better in a marathon with these taken into consideration in comparison to overworking, and not taking enough precautions in your training sessions.

Author Bio:

Curt Davies is a marathon enthusiast and has built his own website located at www.marathondriven.com which is stacked with information and other goodies regarding marathon running and training for those over the age of 30. If you want to find out more about Curt and what he writes about, click the link mentioned earlier.

Your Motivation

motivationIt’s been about six weeks since we started this journey! We have enjoyed sunshine, beautiful weather, new knowledge, new running shoes, and new friends. Some of you are beginning to adjust to this new path you’re on; you take steps daily toward a healthier active lifestyle. It’s not training just for today; it’s training for a lifetime.

As the weather starts to turn cold and the sky is sometimes gray, the mileage starts to increase, rain drops may be falling on your head, the busy holiday season is upon us and getting out for your run can become a little more difficult. Running tests your physical strength and mental strength (perhaps more mental than physical at times).

Somebody asked me how to stay motivated. The educator in me knows that if one person asks a question, it’s quite likely others may be wondering about it too.

Motivation is unique. Motivation is personal. What motivates you to leave a warm bed on a cold morning to run in the rain won’t work for somebody else. Motivation doesn’t just happen. You have to nurture the highs, lows, and places everywhere in between.

Perhaps some of these ideas may work for you. If not, dig deep and find what will make you successful and then please share with the team.

Listen to music. This is debatable. Some can’t run with music. Others can’t run without it. The type of music people listen to varies greatly. Google “running music” if you need suggestions. If you do run with headphones, safety must come first! Wear only one ear bud so you can hear others and traffic around you. If you’re in a highly congested area, turn it off. Never compromise your own safety.

Find like-minded friends. Seek out people who are motivated to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s not uncommon for non-running friends to think you’ve “lost it” when you share your new goal! Have you heard something like this? “You’re going to do what?” They may make unencouraging comments to you (usually out of their own guilt because you’ve committed to take care of yourself.) Likeminded friends, on the other hand, will encourage you, run with you, check in with you, and listen to you!

Sign up for the marathon (full, half, or 5k). Once you’re paid, you’ve made a financial commitment to your goal. Race fees are always non-refundable.

Find out why. Ask yourself why you’re on this journey. Is it so you can be healthier for your family? Chase after your children? To feel better? Look better? Lose weight? In honor of a loved one? Somebody shared the story of losing a loved one to cancer. In permanent marker, he wrote “Cancer” on the bottom of his running shoes. He “stomped on cancer every time he ran.” Whatever your reason, remind yourself of it when you feel your motivation is low.

Reminders. Place your inspiration prominently around your living and working spaces. Leave your running magazines on the coffee table. Post motivational quotes on your computer, bathroom mirror, car, desk, nightstand, on that box of chocolates that continues to call your name, and anywhere else you can think of.

Celebrate milestones. Every time you run further or longer, that’s an accomplishment. Hitting five miles, ten, fifteen, then twenty is quite a feeling. Your legs and feet will be tired, sore, and you may wonder why you continue, and then amazingly enough, once again you’re lacing up those running shoes to do it all again! Mark the milestone with something you enjoy (an indulgent guilt-free afternoon nap??).

The feeling you get from a good run far surpasses the uncomfortable feeling you get from sitting around just thinking about doing it.

Some days you can think of some great reasons not to run…dishes in the sink, laundry is piled up, the dog hasn’t been walked, the lawn needs mowing, I must go to the grocery shopping, I need to fix the sprinkler, my son lost his jacket at school, my kids need homework help (why do those teachers give so much?), I can’t find my favorite running shorts, I haven’t called my grandmother in two weeks, I went to bed too late, I woke up late, I just don’t want to… I can think of only one reason why you should run…YOU’RE WORTH IT!

Way to go on your lifelong journey…

John Bingham said, “The miracle isn’t that I finished, it’s that I had the courage to start.”
For you, you’ve already started!

Create Your Own Marathon Pace Wristband

pace-wristband-159x300One of the keys to achieving your best marathon time is to keep an even pace throughout the race. Go out too fast and you’ll hit the wall, go out too slow and you won’t be able to make up the time later (but you may feel more rested at the end). Determine the pace that you believe you can honestly achieve and stick to it.

Use these wristbands to guide you through those miles (or kilometers) when your mind can’t do the math anymore (or you want to save your concentration for your race). Of course you may need to modify these numbers to take account of the local terrain – but these pace bands will help you along.

Create your Marathon Pace Wristband here.

Here We Are, Ready For Race Day Information…..

This week, stay hydrated, be cautious about what you eat (think healthy), and stay healthy with lots of hand washing and avoiding sick people. Later in the week, lay out every item you need for race morning (shoes, shorts, socks, gels, hydration pack, etc. etc). Pin your bib to the front of your shirt after visiting the Expo.

RACE DAY!!

The half and full marathon start at 7am. Arrive at least one hour prior to the race.

Wake up early enough to take care of everything you must do (eat and drink, visit the bathroom, dress, etc.).

Make a plan to meet your family members and friends at a designated time and place after the race.

Depart for the race site with plenty of time to spare, arrive early enough to park, use the porta-potty, and take care of any last minute details.

Stay off your feet as much as possible prior to the race.

During the Marathon

Don’t start too fast. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and leave the chute at a pace faster than what you’re accustomed to.

Aid Stations

Do not pass up any aid stations on the marathon race course. While it’s acceptable to drink just water in the early miles, runners MUST consume sports beverages no later than 60 minutes of running (and earlier if possible).  At the aid stations, positioned about every 2 miles, water and GU Brew is offered. If you’re not sure what’s in the cup (water or sports drink), politely ask. If necessary, walk through the aid stations to be sure that you are able to consume the entire contents of the cup. If you choose to stop and drink, please stay out of path of approaching runners.  The aid stations will have salt caps as well.  Ask for one if you need it (you can take one about every hour).   Some runners will throw their cups on the ground at the aid station. This is acceptable.  It’s NOT acceptable to throw the cup on the ground past the aid station!  This goes for gel wrappers and other trash as well.  The volunteers appreciate a smile and a simple thank you from runners; we can’t do this without their time and energy.

Take time to enjoy the spectators, participants, and the scenery of the course.

Stop negative thoughts dead in their tracks.  Repeat your mantra over and over.

Think about how proud family members and friends will be of you and your accomplishment.

Immediately Following the Race

Visit the VIP Tent to get something to eat and drink.   If you plan to celebrate with a little alcohol, wait until you’ve had a nutritious meal.  Stretch and keep moving to minimize muscle soreness. Resist the urge to lay down or take a LONG nap. Soaking your legs in cold water aids recovery.  Take time to celebrate your huge accomplishment!
Take it all in!  You’ve accomplished something very few people in the general population have ever done!  Your final race time is less important than the medal you’ll adorn yourself with upon crossing the finish line, not to mention the lifetime of memories. I once heard this…”The real troopers are those who are out on the course far longer than the front runners, they are on their feet longer and may even have more determination to keep moving forward!”
Enjoy the race! You’ve worked hard and whether know it or not, you’ve inspired others along the way.
The finish line isn’t the end.  This journey has no end! I’ve enjoyed being a part of this with you.

Congratulations! And, What’s Next?

Congratulations!

Whether you realize it or not, you have inspired people with your commitment to you marathon goal!

What’s next for you? We hope your commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle is just beginning.

First, you get to rest for a bit. By Wednesday or Thursday, you can start with light, easy running–about 1-3 miles.  Walking and stretching are great too. You can gradually increase the amount of miles you run as the days go by.  Generally speaking, your body needs one day for every mile you ran for recovery.   Feeling a little sad that it’s over?  It helps to set some goals so that  you have a reason to maintain your current level of commitment and fitness. Everyone’s goals vary.  Some suggestions include:  run a certain amount of miles each week, run a designated number of days per week, cross train more,  train for another race, etc. Check out shadowchase.org-we always have upcoming events posted there.  You don’t have to hurry to train for a full marathon again. Consider other distances. Think about trail running (a group of us go often!).  Or, just go out and run for fun, you certainly don’t have to sign up for a race to have a reason to run.   Consider volunteering at an upcoming race.  You experienced, first hand, the value of volunteers at the Modesto Marathon.

Ongoing– Every Tuesday:  There is always a Shadowchase group at the track every Tuesday night.  The workout is posted weekly on the yahoo group.  (Join the yahoo group!).  You don’t need to be intimiated by the “fast” runners.  Do what you can on the track.  A weekly speed workout is beneficial for you and your continued progress.

Every Sunday:  Runners and walkers meet at Save Mart (corner of Oakdale and Scenic in Modesto) at 8am.  We run in the park and meet afterwards for coffee.  These informal meetings are informative, fun, and you can ask questions too. You’re sure to meet some new friends in the group too.   Look in your Shadowchase monthly newsletter.  There are groups that meet at 5am at Mr. T’s in Modesto and at Starbucks in Escalon.  Remain in touch with your new running friends and plan runs together.  We have a run of the month in various locations, all info is in the newsletter.

Finally, we hope that you’ll join us again for our next Modesto Marathon Training group this fall.  Choose a different race or do the same distance and work toward a specific goal time.  Encourage a friend to join you and impart all of your new found knowledge on them; mentor a buddy!   We are working on a celebration to acknowledge your amazing efforts.  More info to follow on this event.   Even though the “official training” is over, you’re part of a world class running club now, and any of us welcome your questions and would love to continue to support you.  So, it’s never over!   Please email anytime.  And, I’ll look for you out there. It’s been a pleasure to join you on this part of your journey.  Susan
P.S. I have attached the instructions for getting connected with the ShadowChase Yahoo group.  It’s for members only and people post questions, comments, info about new products, upcoming runs, etc. etc.  Please join if you haven’t already.

It’s Taper Time!!!

With just 20 days until the Modesto Marathon, it’s finally time to “taper.”  I want to share the following article with you so that you’d understand just exactly what tapering means. (source: www.runnersworld.com)

 The final 3 weeks are the most important in any marathon-training program. Here’s everything you need to know and do leading up to race day.

By Bob Cooper    Published 12/09/2003

Every good marathon-training plan should “taper” during those final 21 days. That means you run less and rest more. For some people, the idea of backing off on their training just before the big race seems counterintuitive. “So many runners train hard right up to the day of the marathon because they’re desperately afraid of losing fitness if they don’t,” says Patti Finke, who coaches 250 marathoners a year as co-director of the Portland (Oregon) Marathon Clinic. “What they don’t realize is that in those last few weeks it’s the rest more than the work that makes you strong. And you don’t lose fitness in 3 weeks of tapering. In fact, studies show that your aerobic capacity, the best gauge of fitness, doesn’t change at all.”

Research reveals a lot more than that. A review of 50 studies on tapering published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that levels of muscle glycogen, enzymes, antioxidants, and hormones–all depleted by high mileage–return to optimal ranges during a taper. The muscle damage that occurs during sustained training is also repaired. And if that isn’t enough, immune function and muscle strength improve, as well, which reduces the odds you’ll catch a cold or get injured just before the race. And get this: The average performance improvement by the subjects who tapered in these studies was 3 percent. That works out to 5 to 10 minutes in a marathon.

The review’s main conclusion: “The primary aim of the taper should be to minimize accumulated fatigue, rather than to attain additional physiological adaptations or fitness gains.” In other words, it’s time to chill.

Proper Clothing & Shoes

Clothing…

There’s a saying…”Cotton is rotten.” It applies to your running clothes (even your socks)! No cotton! For your
clothing, look for items that are marked “dri-fit,” or “moisture wicking.” The fabric is NOT cotton. These types
of fabric pull moisture away from your body and then it dries quickly. While you won’t be absolutely dry you
will be much more comfortable and less likely to chafe. Chaffing is a condition that some people deal with, and
it’s painful. The right fabric can help. If you find that you’re chaffing even while wearing dri-fit items, you can
purchase a product called Body Glide at any sporting goods store. It looks like a container of deodorant, and can
make a big difference.

Shoes…

Why are running shoes sooo important? Running shoes are the most important piece of equipment a runner
has! A shoe that’s perfect for one person may not work for another. Everybody has different shaped feet, strides,
and body mechanics. Running in improperly fitted shoes is a leading cause of injuries! So, it’s much more than just
making your feet happy!

Why do I need to be “fitted”? The professionals at On the Run are some of the few around that will take the time to
fit your properly! They stand behind their recommendation.

How much can I expect to spend on a pair of running shoes? Between $100-$130. This may sound like a
significant amount of money…however, it’s a relatively small price to pay if you take into account that doctor bills
for injuries cost far greater than well fitted shoes!

Running shoes aren’t in my budget right now, should I still go? Please go get your feet measured.